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Earlier this year the government scrapped its zero carbon homes plan - again. Were the plans too ambitious or were they just simply not required or valued by the industry? Many believe it was the wrong decision. But the question remains, are zero carbon or carbon neutral buildings financially achievable in the current climate and does the desire still exist to strive to create them?

What is the London Plan?  

The London Plan is the statutory spatial development strategy outlining six core objectives for the Greater London area. First published in 2004, the Plan has been amended and added to. Most relevant to the construction industry is Chapter 5, London’s response to Climate Change, which includes requirements for sustainable development within the Greater London area.

Sustainability has been at the top of the agenda for many years but I have an ever-increasing feeling that much of the industry is missing the next step. Creating sustainable buildings is very important, but we shouldn’t forget the fact that we are creating buildings for people and the well-being of these people should be the priority. So the question is: Are we putting buildings before people?

As of October 1 2016, the London Plan requirements for energy statements are changing. All major developments will be required to be ‘zero carbon’ however if this cannot be achieved then a cash in lieu contribution will be sought. In addition to the ‘zero carbon’ targets, further emphasis is to be placed on district heating networks and a new requirement to follow the cooling hierarchy, which includes an in depth overheating risk analysis, will be introduced. This blog will focus on the ‘zero carbon’ element of the GLA guidance on preparing energy statements.